Over the course of the last four and half years I have blogged primarily about church, ministry, theology and anything related to it. But one area that has drawn increasing attention from me is the area of technology, specifically Web 2.0, New Media, etc.
I’m still trying to put my thoughts into words and sentences that make sense, but here is the bottomline for me. Technology, especially Web 2.0, the New Media, etc. is “the air” and “environment” that many of the people I work with breath and live in. I use this technology, but I wasn’t raised with it. I sent my first email as a freshmen in college with Juno(most of you will think that is a movie and not an online service provider).
So because of the influence of technology, it permeates many areas of our life, and will increasingly permeate more in the future. It influences leadership, Church, politics, entertainment, etc, etc. So much so that it’s hard to see where one begins and the other ends.
All this to say….I have been reading as much as I can on Web 2.0, New Media, etc. And it has opened my eyes to so much, and it has influenced me in many ways.
One of the books that I highly, highly, highly recommend is Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application. It is actually more of a manifesto from the guys at 37 Signals. They have a very popular blog, Signal vs. Noise. They are probably not for everyone, and some may find them quite irreverant and arrogant at times. They are best known for their Ruby on Rails, which is what companies like Twitter and 43 Things are built on.
But their no nonsense, simplistic view of web applications, actually has many lessons for other areas of life. In a world that is about all the bells and whistles, they are about stripping down to the bare necessities. They would argue that most web applications are probably quite irrelevant in some ways and not useful because it is too loaded with stuff that people will never use. They would also say that most web applications spend so much time in the early phases of design, coding, trying to attain money for the startup, etc….that most products just never get off the ground.
This had me thinking about things like writing a book….organizing my own blog….structuring my college ministry leadership. What are the bare necessities? What things do people not care about, and in fact may inhibit effectiveness because they are overwhelmed by too much?
I highly recommend their book. I finished it so quickly and left with so many ideas, questions and thoughts running through my head.
I think these guys get things that others have not quite caught onto yet. And with that, I leave you with their blog post from today. They get it. They get the nuanced (and is it really nuanced at all) reasons, and non-political reasons of why so many people are voting for Obama, and why he has captured such a groundswell of support, especially from untapped groups of people.
How Obama targets nonconsumption. Here’s an excerpt:
Likewise, Obama isn’t trying to steal a share of “the existing market,” he’s trying to create a new one.
Rather than relying exclusively on special interests and big money donors, he’s gotten a large number of smaller donations from first-time donors via the web. (Long tail anyone?)
And instead of merely competing for the votes of currently registered voters, he’s focused strongly on getting blacks and people younger than 35 registered in prime states. (Encouraging first-time voters “is going to be a very big part of how we win” according to Obama’s deputy campaign manager.)
Whether you’re competing for an election or customers, there’s a lesson to learn here. If winning over the existing market is a longshot, woo those who aren’t even in the game yet.